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‘Business as usual’ as market faces up to new lockdown


Experts say it would have been a disaster if Government had mothballed ‘cornerstone of the economy’

Mortgage market experts last week declared “it’s business as usual” despite the third national lockdown, with one insisting many would be grateful the Government had sidestepped “placing the property market back into a pandemic-induced cryogenic deep freeze”.

Insiders pointed out that the Government had not deviated from their ambition of keeping the housing market buoyant, and Hugh Wade-Jones, the managing director of Enness Global Mortgages, summed up the general feeling by saying: “Billions of pounds in accelerated property transactions are currently waiting to complete before the Stamp Duty holiday deadline on March 31st.

“It would have been a disastrous move for the Government to have slammed the door in the face of these aspirational homebuyers so close to the finish line and would have, no doubt, caused a landslide of property transaction fall-throughs and a drop in values had they done so.

“It remains business as usual and, as a result, it’s unlikely we will see any decline in the huge levels of buyer activity seen since last year, nor should we see property prices deviate from their current upward trend.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of Behnham and Reeve, commented: “With no speed bumps in sight for the time being, the market is now clear to accelerate through the gears throughout the coming year, and we should see a healthy increase in transactions and price growth over the coming months.”

And James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forester, said: “Many will be thankful that the Government have refrained from placing the property market back into a pandemic-induced cryogenic deep freeze.

“As one of the cornerstones of the UK economy, it’s vital we remain open to service the unprecedented levels of market activity seen in recent months.

“While previous calls to work from home unless necessary will have caused many property professionals to struggle at the start of last year, the industry was able to adapt and evolve to a more digitally-enabled way of working.

“With this practice remaining pretty much in place, there should be little to no disruption for those selling and buying in the current market.”

All this is good news for a property market which was buoyant in 2020 and looks to stay that way with positive growth in the first few months of 2021…

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